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UCC Unveil Striking Mural To Launch Bystander Intervention Week

UCC Unveil Striking Mural To Launch Bystander Intervention Week

Yesterday, (January 28th), students at University College Cork, UCC, unveiled a striking Mural to kick off their Bystander Intervention week around college, that will concentrate on teaching the 22,000 students on the campus about consent, sexual harassment and encouraging them to speak up if they experience or witnessed any kind of harassment or non-consensual behaviour among peers.

This campaign is spear-headed by Dr. Louise Crowley of the School of Law, UCC, in conjunction with the National Women's Council of Ireland's It Stops Now campaign, who work to end sexual harassment and violence in third level education, along with students from different courses and societies around the campus.

Dr. Louise Crowley has piloted this programme with students from law, nursing and midwifery, and applied psychology for the past two years to build a zero tolerance environment for students, encouraging them to combat violence and sexual harassment both on and off campus.

Speaking with college's newspaper Dr. Crowley went into detail on what they wish to achieve from the Bystander Intervention Week:

"The issue of sexual violence and harassment, unwanted advances and unsolicited abusive comments is a deeply ingrained societal poison and one which is no less prevalent amongst third level students,"

"Through initiatives such as the bystander intervention programme we can create an environment which demands an awareness of the unacceptability of all such behaviour and in turn educate our students to recognise their capacity to effect cultural change, to empower them to recognise the problem, to speak up as part of a collective voice, and to reject any attempt to normalise violence and harassment."

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The students mark the beginning of the intervention week by creating their own mural on campus, which involved students pasting posters tackling sexual harassment, myths and misconceptions on sexual harassment, and quotes of normalised verbal harassment that many women and men experience on a daily basis.

For example:

"Don't stand by, Speak Up!"

"Boys will be Boys"

"Before you say, do or post it, make sure they consent it."

"Give Us A Smile."

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"Did you see what she was wearing???"

and

"Did I ask you to grab my ass?"

The students have a number of other events scheduled for this week, including a screening of The Hunting Ground Tues 7 pm and The Grey Area: Consent, Law and culture and workshops that will teach students how to tackle these issues.

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Grainne Sharkey

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